As anyone who has ever come across my writing knows, rarely do I stand up and pay attention to emerging artists, which is perhaps to my discredit. Whe...
I was ten years old at the time and my babysitter brought this strange looking album to the house featuring a longhaired black man straddling a wicked motorcycle on the cover (so cool, debonair and quite unlike anything I had seen before).
Today I'm making a pledge to myself and my fellow global citizen. I will try to educate myself before I express myself. I will try to learn before I teach. I will try to listen before I shout. I will do my best to help find solutions. When I disagree, I will do so with respect and grace. I will try to be a better man. I will rise up. Will you?
The next few months are make or break for Lady Gaga. Poised for the release of her fifth studio album, the singer knows she has a lot to prove following, what can only be described as, a rocky few years. Once the biggest popstar in the world with more number ones and awards than you could shake a disco stick at, the wheels fell off after the release of her last album Artpop in 2013.
You could see his pants. You could see his pubes. You could see the crack of his arse. And as you beheld the brazen display, he just looked right back at you with an attitude and a pornographic lyric on his mind. He looked like Phil Lynott, but Lynott didn't scare the bejesus out of me the way this beguiling, demonic, sex pixie did.
2016 is beginning to look amazingly like 1980. Are we, then, about to embark on a new 80s? Survivors have wildly contrasting views of that decade, but if there's a generally accepted rule, it's this: if you had money, you had a whale of a time. If you didn't, you didn't.
Things were hard in the Eighties when it came to being openly gay and even pop stars - and most celebrities in the entertainment world - were forced to live a lie for fear of public opprobrium. Freddie Mercury strutted his stuff at Live Aid in a singlet, Tom of Finland moustache and tight trousers, and still the general public didn't guess he was gay.
My new song genuinely came to me in a daydream, while I was trying to tune in my faulty DAB radio. I heard a snippet of news about this badly timed referendum* on staying or leaving the EU and suddenly it hit me hard how much I'd miss it if the UK, true to its tradition of recreational vandalism, managed inexplicably to kick itself out of this sophisticated European nightclub.
She was one of the finest, one of the greats. The wit was a reading wit: funny, intelligent, observant realism with a twitching sting. It was subdermal: deeper than language and timing; it fluttered in her stomach and it caught in her giggles. It knew pathos and pain. She understood her country, and helped to explain it. I don't think anybody identified with Alan Bennett's observations as much as Wood. They often used the same actors. She recognised the voices of his Talking Heads (1988/1998) and extended our time in their company. Whilst Bennett's were twitching curtains, and having solicitous affairs with Hindu shopkeepers, Wood's were elsewhere.
A haunting and aquatic intro draws you into 'Aphrodite', the second track lifted from 'Alpha', the sophomore EP from London-based singer-song writer and producer Sooski.
Over the next fortnight, HuffPostUK Entertainment is going LOUD & PROUD, where we'll be celebrating how gay culture has influenced and, in turn, been embraced by all fields of entertainment, inspiring cinema-goers, TV audiences, music-lovers and wider society with its wit, creativity and power of expression.
You would expect to find some guitars in glass cases at a Rolling Stones exhibition and you would be right, but the sheer amount of instruments on display was impressive. There was a sloppily part-painted Gibson Les Paul of Keith's from 1968, which, as the notes helpfully pointed out, was the result of an acid trip where Keith started painting his boots then spread to the guitar: "I was bored, waiting to go to jail."
Can we put this more recent decline down to Wogan? It hardly seems fair to pin it on one person and the dates show little correlation. However, Björkman's main point seems valid: that if as a country we see Eurovision as frivolous and odd, we're unlikely to send a serious artist (more to the point, a serious artist is unlikely to enter).
What Tom taught me is that it really is possible, if you have a singular talent and a huge amount of confidence, to go out and create the life you've imagined for yourself - even if that life is very different from the one you've been leading - and yet remain the warm, regular guy you were when you set off.
I work as Chair of the Featured Artists Coalition, which has spawned the International Artist Organisation. Together we represent the rights and interests of European music artists and creators. The EU is currently working on the Digital Single market. This is essential to our future. It is the future. An artist's job is to break down barriers, tear down the walls that separate our shared humanity. We are intrinsically international. We have never thought of ourselves as being isolated from the rest of the world. Our innate desire is to bring people together, to create community and union. We are the modern day explorers and pioneers.
Already one of the most divisive figures in pop history, calling Kanye West a cultural phenomenon feels redundant in a year that has seen him dominate Twitter feeds and gossip columns alike. With the supposedly definitive version of The Life Of Pablo finally with us, here's Ye's entire solo discography ranked.